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Negotiating Erasmus 2021-2027 : A Case Study on the Process of Trilogues in the EU Decision Making

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Title: Negotiating Erasmus 2021-2027 : A Case Study on the Process of Trilogues in the EU Decision Making
Author(s): Rantala, Juho
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies
Specialisation: Social Sciences Study Track
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2021
The goal of this research is to gain better understanding of the EU legislative system through a case study of the trilogues of the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme. Trilogues are a series of informal negotiations between the EU legislative bodies and are a central part of the modern EU legislative process. A rich field of research exists on the topic, focusing especially on the roles of the legislative institutions and the transparency of the informal practice. The data used for the research is gathered from interviews and legislative files. A series of expert interviews were conducted with people who participated in the negotiations, representing both EU colegislators, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The legislative files were gathered from publicly available sources and include most importantly the Commission legislative proposal, the Parliament first reading position, the Council first reading position and a four column document from late 2020. Three interesting topics that caused intense intra- and inter-institutional negotiations are identified: the DiscoverEU initiative, inclusion and governance. These provided three different methods of finding compromise. Firstly, it is shown how the Council position can shift to correspond to the Parliament position. Secondly, it is shown how it can still be difficult to agree on the exact words of the legislation even when the goal is a shared one. Thirdly, it is shown how the Parliaments demands can turn into a compromise that is significantly closer to the Council position. A brief summary of transparency over the Erasmus trilogues is given. The main findings of the study are the methods in which the EU legislators are willing to seek compromise: in the case of Erasmus trilogues, they negotiators were more consensus seeking than adversarial.
Keyword(s): EU policy trilogues EU programmes Erasmus+ European Parliament Council of the European Union

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